How to make Jewelry out of Seashells

When I was a kid, I’d love scouring the beach for seashells. The problem is that I’ll never be able to use them for anything. Then, once I got older and into making jewelry, I thought, “hey! I can make jewelry out of these! All I need to do is drill a hole in them!” Of course, it’s not that easy, so here’s some tips and tricks for prepping your seashells for jewelry. Here’s an example of a piece I made on sale at my etsy store:

Materials:

  • clear nail polish or varnish
  • drill
  • a very small drill bit
  • a small ball of playdoh
  • shells (of course :) )

Method:

  • take one shell and press into the playdoh–not too hard, you don’t want it to stick
  • use your drill and small drill bit to drill a hole through the shell
  • this will take a while. the playdoh helps give the shell a little wiggle room and take some of the tension away so the shell doesn’t break as easily
  • note: it’s likely that your shell may break anyway. Try not to drill too close to the edge, don’t drill contantly. stop drilling to allow the drill bit to cool down, then start again. Also, try to pick the thickest part of the shell for drilling
  • another note: sea-glass is a pain in the butt to drill: I learned that the hard way. It takes forever (maybe it’s the drill bit size?) and over all, isn’t worth the trouble. It’s possible that you may need one of the diamond-edged ones of whatever (but those are ridiculously expensive)
  • either before or after you drill, cover the shell in a layer of clear nail polish. If you aren’t going to drill them for a while, make sure to polish them within a few weeks of bringing them home. You know how it’s a lot more brightly colored when it’s wet than when it’s dry? The nail polish keeps them that bright color. After a while of laying around without being polished, though, the color fades. (another thing I learned the hard way)

Alright, I hope you guys check out my etsy store for more pictures of my jewelry (shameless plug, I know), and I hope you all make your own seashell jewelry. If you have your own tips and tricks or pictures of stuff you made, comment below!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. debbie
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 18:30:01

    really like your craft project but wish you could share on facbook

    thank youdebbie

    Reply

  2. staples
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 20:22:55

    thanks for pointing that out, Debbie! I didn’t realize the facebook sharing option was not enabled. Well, it’s enabled now :)

    Reply

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